I attempted my hand at Board game design again this week under the instruction to develop a University based game. I developed a board game modelled on the structure of Monopoly called: Fee Escape. The basic goal of the game is to pay off your student loans before anyone else can pay theirs.
I employed a turn base structure, this allows for the players to engage in social conversation through-out the game as-well as shifting the centre of attention from player to player (Xu, Barba, Radu et al. 2011 p.9). The rules are based on the Monopoly rules, where you must pass ‘Centrelink’ to collect your $300 each round. You can also rent houses on the board but these have leases, when someone lands on your rented property that player will then pay a Couch Surfing fee to the person who is currently renting the property. Through-out the game the player has a chance to land on Jobs awarding them with extra money, Fee Reform squares where the individual’s student fees have risen by a set percentage; as well as landing on Living Expense Cards, Fee-Help Cards and the Tech Fail square (replacing Monopoly’s Jail square). The Living Expenses Cards and Fee-Help Cards provide monetary prizes to the players, force players to pay out money to the bank or allow them to take actions on other players.
Board games have merged into a computer gaming sphere, modern games are portable and allow a player to engage in a game any time of the day. Whilst my game is asking players to commit perhaps a few hours within the ‘magic circle’ if played correctly. The magic circle is the ‘suspension of normal rules of meaning and behaviour’ (Moore 2011 p.373). As Moore (2011 p.375) states; a game will rely on the players being able to suspend their reality and ‘enter the system of the game’ (Moore 2011 p.375), to ensure full entertainment value can be achieved.
To ensure my game does not require a player to be within the ‘magic circle’ for an extended period, a rule has been implemented that after one loan from the bank of $1000 if the player becomes broke they are removed from the University and thus they are removed from the game.
This game is obviously a prototype, and I am looking forward to taking my ideas further.
Harvey, A and Fisher, S 2013, ‘Making a Name in Games: Immaterial Labour, indie game design and gendered social network markets’, Information, Communication & Society, Vol. 16, No. 3, pp.362-380.